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Dozens laid off from Citrix's Raleigh hub but hiring to continue

Citrix operations in Raleigh

Oct, 4 2017, 9:03 AM

International software firm Citrix, which has a major operation and hundreds of employees in Raleigh, is laying off employees around the globe.

Dozens of people were told Wednesday morning they are losing their jobs, and many grim-faced or weeping workers filed out of the company's offices near downtown clutching white severance folders.

"It's traumatic. I’ve got two kids, young daughters. I’ve got bills," said Ron Corley who was hired in August. "I'm probably just going to go back home, hang out with my kids and go from there."

"(It's) never easy. I only just started here in July and was just hitting my stride, so to get something like this is kind of brutal," Andrew Sink said.

Workers were sent a "calendar invite" Tuesday evening for a "mandatory meeting" early Wednesday. About 40 people were involved in the first round of meetings, which began at 8:30 a.m.

They were told they were not allowed to log into their work computer or their work email and were not allowed to take anything home. They were told to pack up boxes, and Citrix will mail the boxes to them.

"A lot of people who came in in my class actually took pay cuts in order to start this opportunity, with the hopes and dreams of making more money and doing better for our families, and we were unable to do that immediately, and then this is just more than disappointing," said laid-off employee Ron Corley, who was hired in August.

Citrix confirmed the layoffs shortly after the meetings began.

"Citrix recently signaled its intent to accelerate the company’s transformation to a subscription / cloud-based business model, and to invest in the high-growth initiatives that will drive our next phase of growth. It is anticipated that the shift to the cloud will only pick up speed, and to accomplish the company’s goals, Citrix is rebalancing investments and winding down certain products," Citrix spokesperson Eric Armstrong told WRAL TechWire.

However, he provided few details.

"Because notifications are ongoing across the globe and out of respect for those impacted, we are not sharing the number of impacted employees globally or in any specific location," Armstrong said.

Armstrong did say that the Raleigh operation "certainly remains a strategic location for Citrix."

The company also plans to continue hiring in Raleigh for its ShareFile operations, he added.

Citrix remains eligible for $5.7 million in tax incentives if it meets requirements agreed to with the state of North Carolina last December to add 400 jobs, according to the Department of Commerce.


MORE CITRIX LAYOFFS COVERAGE:


Citrix announced plans in December of last year to add another 400 jobs at its Raleigh office, which is located in the Warehouse District.

As part of the expansion, the company qualified for a Job Development Investment Grant from the state of up to $5.7 million.

David Rhoades, a spokesman for the state Commerce Department, said it's too early to say how the layoffs will affect the incentives, which are doled out over several years if the company meets annual hiring and investment goals. Citrix won't file its report on 2017 hiring and investment figures until next March, Rhoades said.

The local operation is built around ShareFile, a company launched and grown in the Triangle by Duke University alum and entrepreneur Jesse Lipson.

Lipson left the firm earlier this year. He sold the company to Citrix in 2011 and remained with Citrix as leader of its Raleigh operations, spearheading the building of a new headquarters and the hiring of hundreds of new workers.

Citrix has been the subject of merger and takeover rumors for months. The company was first reported to be looking for a buyer in March by Bloomberg news.

In July, Chief Executive Kirill Tatarinov left after 18 months, and Chief Financial Officer David Henshall replaced him. He's the firm's fourth CEO since 2015, according to the South Florida Business Journal.

"We knew there were changes being made, and once the rumor mill started and got going, the bread crumbs just led to the same house," Corley said. "We were all lured in with the assumption that we could make vast sums of money, and I guess, because of the low turnout with sales profits, that wasn’t true for the company or for us as individuals."

The company has posted nearly 200 job openings, according to jobs website Glassdoor.

"These decisions, although difficult, allow us to accelerate our transformation and to reinvest in the new skills, teams and business processes throughout the organization that will ensure that our company continues to grow and deliver long-term value for our customers, partners, employees and shareholders," Armstrong said.



reporter : Kathryn Brown, Rick Smith


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